Nike Free?

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I'm in the market for some new running shoes and these look nice and comfortable.  But, I don't know too much about the Nike Free technology and would like for some input.

EDIT---A picture of the shoe.

 
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It isn't a shoe, it is a technology. There are a lot of models with it.

I've had a few pairs. They are fine. Someone who knows more about them can help.
 
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It's technically not a running shoe per se. The technology is based on the idea that barefoot running strengthens the muscles in the foot and lower leg, thus improving overall performance. This is accomplished through a method called siping, which are basically deep flex grooves in the sole that allow for maximum flexibility. The majority of Free shoes have little to no cushioning aside from the injected foam (no Air, Zoom or Max), which is why it is largely considered a part-time running shoe - for training/conditioning purposes. Although some individuals opt for Free tech outside of simple training functions, I think it would be advisable to actually run in a shoe with more substantial support features in the form of a significant cushioning system and/or stability features.

Train in Free. Run in Zoom/Air/Max/Lunar etc.
 
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Yes, these are not everyday running shoes but special training shoes and comfortable walking shoes.  The new lunar glide and lunar elite are very popular with very serious runners as well as the Bowerman series.  Those might be better choices for a good all purpose shoe.  
 

jaoridarn

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Those are great shoes, but if youre looking for a very responsive running shoe, try the lunarlites. They dont last too long but they sure are comfy.
 
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Nike Free technology is great! I switched off between a pair of Free 7.0's and Asics Gel Kayano 15's for full marathon training and now I use the Free's as my work shoes, which consists of being on my feet for a 12 hr shift. I'm looking to buy a pair of Free Everyday+ 2 some time soon, those shoes are so clean... and most importantly: comfortable.

Anyway, you can't go wrong with any shoe with Free technology. Good luck!
 
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DON'T BE LIMITED TO NIKE. Try a FEW different brands out. As I say in all of these posts, get your arch and gait checked out or figure out it yourself (plenty of ways to do so, google it) and then try those on. Tons of people are blinded when it comes to running shoes because they aren't familiar with the other brands and the looks of the shoe are much less conservative.

Running shoes are the one if any type of shoe you can't get someones opinion on and be completely satisfied with yourself.
 

i3

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I think the 5.0s (as pictured) are fine for the occasional run, like maybe 2-3x a week for a 20-30min jog.

Excellent gym shoe too.
 
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have those exact shoes and agree w. the rest of posts.. great training/lifting shoe and ok for short periods of running but wouldnt recommend for extended running on concrete because of the lack of padding/support.
 
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Originally Posted by Mister Friendly

Do yall feel like they actually work?
If by work you mean improve leg muscles then sort of. A lot of people i've seen have had issues with their legs because they try to use these as a long distance runner which is DUMB.

Depending on how you're going to use them you might want to give the Free Everyday a chance. Little more cushion.

Most people I see with Free's use them for casual wear. They're awesome in the summer.
 
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Do you all wear them with or without socks? I know they are meant to be worn without but how practical is it in terms of moisture...ect. Also what's the durability like?
 
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Originally Posted by Blue0230

It's technically not a running shoe per se. The technology is based on the idea that barefoot running strengthens the muscles in the foot and lower leg, thus improving overall performance. This is accomplished through a method called siping, which are basically deep flex grooves in the sole that allow for maximum flexibility. The majority of Free shoes have little to no cushioning aside from the injected foam (no Air, Zoom or Max), which is why it is largely considered a part-time running shoe - for training/conditioning purposes. Although some individuals opt for Free tech outside of simple training functions, I think it would be advisable to actually run in a shoe with more substantial support features in the form of a significant cushioning system and/or stability features.

Train in Free. Run in Zoom/Air/Max/Lunar etc.
Actually, the sole purpose of the Nike Free is running based. And also, the free DOES use cushioning features- mainly zoom air when used. Training in a pair of these is retarted, and not typical. They offer no support for lateral movement (considering the entire upper is soft mesh), and they're incredibly light weight (also a terrible attribute for training). I work for Nike. I sell these things everyday. If I didn't have knowledge, I wouldn't be an employee. However, I will say that the newer running shoe models such as the LunarGlide and LunarElite are remarkably comfortable and would swear by them for everyday running (I have a pair of LunarGlides and put about 10-20 miles/ week). So since you're looking for a running shoe, choose Lunar. Otherwise, train in TRAINERS.

  
 
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frees CAN be used for everyday training runs and long runs. how do i know? i use them. from a medical/anatomic standpoint, barefoot is good for your feet, legs, back etc. barefoot training is good also, but frees offer you some protection from rocks etc. can you just go out and run a long distance your first time using these shoes??? NOOOOOO. Your feet have to get used to them, and you have to strengthen all of your foot muscles first. this also goes for other natural movement minimalist type kicks including lunaracers. I used to run in structure triax, and asics kayanos, BOTH with arch supports due to my flat feet (overpronate) and i would also get knee pain. i started off with the free 5.0 v1, and whoa, no pain in my arches, no knee pain. i also have had the asics gel kinsei 1 and haven't had any issues either and can wear them without insoles/ orthotics. when i first began to use the frees, i could only go up to 5 miles before my feet would start hurting. my feet got used to them, and now i have been doing several half marathons a year for the last 3-4 years exclusively in my free 5.0s. after rupturing my achilles tendon and undergoing surgery, i only wore free 5.0v4 during the rehab stage, and still wear them mostly every day at work, and do all my training runs/races in them. (i train on concrete)
My wife also has had issues with finding the proper running shoes, and finally settled on free 5.0/3.0s over the last few years.   she recently switched to lunarglides and loves them.

Frees go against the traditional view of what we need in a running shoe.... cushioning, stability, support etc. when i was going through medical school, when i was home on breaks, I used to work in an athletic shoe store which prided itself on fitting customers into the proper shoes, especially runners, we sold asics, nike, brooks, saucony, adidas, reebock, new balance etc so i know how much technology and support and cushioning are stressed. Even staff that work in running stores will advise against using frees for running, that maybe you can use them for lite training or post race, but not for actual long runs. the last half marathon i did was in huntington beach last month, and there was also a full marathon going on, and i was NOT the only participant wearing some loud color free 5.0v4s there. even saw some barefoot runners too. remember there are barefoot runners from other countries that do marathons.

If you are looking the strengthen the muscles of your feet, and have a more natural stride, go with the frees. if you are looking for a more natural stride, but want some cushioning and want to stay with nike, try the lunaracers, glides etc. Vomeros are great too.
check out the asics kinsei 2 also, they adapt to your gait and stride, and have a more natural motion too them also.

Some may say i contradict myself because I love zoom air (see the zoom BB threads) and am a great proponent of it especially for basketball shoes, but for running in my situation with my overpronation, frees (5.0) are the best shoes i have ever owned for running. ( i have had air max, asics, etc). for me, less is more. ok, end of sermon.

PS NIKE, if you are reading this, PLEASE RETRO THE FREE TRAINER 5.0 v1's. I LOVE THOSE SHOES!!!!
 
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As for running barefoot without socks in the frees. My last few training runs prior to the half marathon and during the half marathon, i went without socks and had no issues. i did use a little body glide on my toes and on my heels, but no friction issues or blisters, and the shoes didn't smell afterwards either.
 
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Originally Posted by swooshman23

Originally Posted by Blue0230

It's technically not a running shoe per se. The technology is based on the idea that barefoot running strengthens the muscles in the foot and lower leg, thus improving overall performance. This is accomplished through a method called siping, which are basically deep flex grooves in the sole that allow for maximum flexibility. The majority of Free shoes have little to no cushioning aside from the injected foam (no Air, Zoom or Max), which is why it is largely considered a part-time running shoe - for training/conditioning purposes. Although some individuals opt for Free tech outside of simple training functions, I think it would be advisable to actually run in a shoe with more substantial support features in the form of a significant cushioning system and/or stability features.

Train in Free. Run in Zoom/Air/Max/Lunar etc.
Actually, the sole purpose of the Nike Free is running based. And also, the free DOES use cushioning features- mainly zoom air when used. Training in a pair of these is retarted, and not typical. They offer no support for lateral movement (considering the entire upper is soft mesh), and they're incredibly light weight (also a terrible attribute for training). I work for Nike. I sell these things everyday. If I didn't have knowledge, I wouldn't be an employee. However, I will say that the newer running shoe models such as the LunarGlide and LunarElite are remarkably comfortable and would swear by them for everyday running (I have a pair of LunarGlides and put about 10-20 miles/ week). So since you're looking for a running shoe, choose Lunar. Otherwise, train in TRAINERS.

  
There is a difference between training for running like a race or marathon, and cross training like lifting weights and agility/quickness exercises.


I'm going to assume that you were referring to the latter.


I hope that as a Nike employee you would know the difference.
  
 
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Well, he works for Nike, so he thinks he knows everything.

I CERTAINLY DIDN'T KNOW FREE 5.0 USED ZOOM AIR.

People training in these isn't typical? That's what your customer mostly buys them for, REGARDLESS of what they're MADE for.

Lunar is trash. Give me Equalons all day IF it has to be a Nike runner.

I love arguing with people about Nike running shoes. Trying to defend them and all.
 
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I thought all FREEs basically had their own type of flexible outsole/midsole that prohibited any type of air system being involved? That's your true tradeoff when you look at these vs. other shoes. ones flexible without the air support. the other is supposedly more rigid but has the air.

Good info blue and DR DAMON.

what an interesting situation.. the vast majority of the recent "cross trainers" have been a heel air based/ free forefoot based shoe. I would advise, like most would with the free runners, to use those as a strengtening mechanism a few times a week but still have a shoe for the majority of your workout.

Nike must have some stock in the medical industry because their recent cross trainers are anything but a true all purpose shoe.

Be warned.

For me personally, anything FREE based should be used as an aid or a compliment to what you would normally wear. As someone mentioned here, frees do a great job in strengthening your muscles. like others said here, start off slowly wearing these and see where they take you.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2010
I've had AM's, AM 360's, New Balance MT100's, Lunarglides, and Free 5.0 v4's (the one you have pictured) and my favorite out of all of them are the FREEs
with the NB's close behind for when I have to run on the trail.
 
I have a bad left knee and the post-run ache went away after using the FREEs. I now have 2 pairs; one black/gray pair and one Nike ID pair. For my foot type (regular width and regular arch), and my knee injury, the FREE's are perfect. Lunarglides were good for short distance, but too cushiony and heavy. My AM 360's (2006) are even heavier and would give me shin splints, a sore knee, and sore ankles.  Also, I run 20-30 miles a week.  There's no way I could run that much with my LunarGlides.  Just know that everyone has different foot types so you have to bite the bullet and buy your first pair of running shoes, see how they feel, and improve from there.

I actually just finished my first half-marathon (Shamrock Half in Sac) and used Nike ID FREE 5.0 v4's and finished at 1hr 48 which isn't bad considering it's my first and only trained 12 weeks for it.  Minimalist running shoes FTW.
 
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Here's some pictures of my Nike ID Free 5.0 v4's BTW (used them for Sacramento's 2010 Shamrock Half-Marathon):



 
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This guy that loves arguing Nike running shoes is the same one saying get your foottested to see what's best. And running stores are not looking down on Nike's lunar line like past models. If each shoe and foot isdifferent how can you denounce one brand entirely?!
 
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